The Tease Stream
Artisans Exposed Interview with Burlesque Performer, Miss Esther De Ville.
Burlesque has taken our city by seductive storm and I have had the opportunity to interact, share and collaborate with some of the best talent we have; Miss De Ville is talented, classically beautiful and has a passion for her Flow that is very respectable and, for her, definitely worth the pursuant courtship. Burlesque may look easy and somewhat frivolous to most but to excel at this sport one has to practice, practice and practice. Miss De Ville contributes a fair deal of time to enhancing and expanding her Flow and it shows! She has flowed throughout the city and beyond performing Classic Burlesque and has no plans to stop anytime soon. That's good news for Burlesque and us!
This is Miss Esther De Ville's Flow....
Artisan-Esther De Ville, Burlesque Performer
Release date: Monday,January 2, 2012
What's your Flow?
-My name is Miss Esther De Ville, and I am a Classic Burlesque Dancer.
Burlesque is all about the Art of Tease, what do you know about that?-In a lot of ways, tease, is the art of seductive movement. The style of Burlesque that I do is the art of seductive dance.
You seem very passionate about your art, where does that passion stem from?
-I've always been a fan of pin-up imagery, and the history of Burlesque. I've have a strange fascination with human sexuality. I'm also an exhibitionist, so Burlesque is the perfect outlet for my creative energy.
If performing was a food item, what would that be?
-Red, red wine, you make me feel so fine!
Fashion in Burlesque is usually inspired by the women of past eras. You're a bit of a vintage fashion plate, who do you most emulate in fashion and style?
-I like to style my hair like Veronica Lake, or Rita Hayworth. I also like looking like a 50's bombshell. I'm often inspired by Old Hollywood movies, I'm a big film nerd, but I usually aim for a 40's or 50's look. I also like to emulate some of the old burlesque stars like Tempest Storm, and Lili St Cyr.
On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate yourself as an authentic Burlesque performer?
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the Burlesque scene on Toronto.
I know that there are a lot of people that perceive Burlesque as stripping. What do you say to that?
-Burlesque is the root of modern stripping, I'm not your average stripper, but I do strip, or rip, off my clothes. I prefer to call my self a performance artist though.
Burlesque performers are generally very creative when choosing a stage name for themselves, how did you come to be Miss Esther De Ville?
-I wanted my first name to be an old housewife's name, and my last name came from a Robert Doisneau photo called The Kiss, I believe. The photo was taken outside The Hotel De Ville in Paris. Technically my name means “Esther of the city”.
Burlesque is sexy business, sexy is Burlesque's business, which side does your Flow fall on, love or money?
-I love Burlesque more than I love money, but it is an expensive hobby. In a perfect world, I could make a living off Burlesque, but alas the world is not perfect.
Burlesque takes courage to exhibit ones body sensually to total strangers. How does being on stage, commanding attention to your nakedness make you feel?
-I feel like a queen! I'm an actor as well, so I love it when people pay attention to me. I have no reservations when it comes to taking my cloths off. I think I'm so desensitized to it now, although the nakedness never really bothered me though.
It's said that childhood shapes your brain and our perception of things...the Performing Arts is no different. Can you recall any childhood memories that helped define who you are today?
-When I was a kid, I used to pretend to be a cat, I would crawl on the floor, meow, and rub up against peoples legs. My kindergarten teacher actually phoned home one day, to report this to my mother, to which she replied, “So, whats the problem?”. I also have a lot of memories of
watching old movies with my parents and grandparents. My Aunt, who is a seamstress for the film industry, baby-sat me a lot as a child also encouraged my creativity. My Grandfather told me to never give up on my artistic ability, it was something he was never able to peruse as a career, and he felt that it was important for me to do what I love.
What genre of music do you gravitate to?
-I love all types of music, as long as it's good! I do love 50's and 60's music a fair bit, doo-woop, rockabilly and jazz. When I'm performing though, I like big band jazz.
Because of the nature of what you do, do you find the need to educate the general public on the Art of Tease?
-I do, I find sometime though, when talking to people that are closer to my age, it's hard for them to grasp the concept. Our culture and media is over saturated with blatant sexuality, it's sometimes hard for them to take that step back to appreciate the art form.
What's your take of the booming Burlesque scene in T.O.?
-There is so much going on, and it's still growing. Toronto is lucky to have such a diverse group of performers!
What does it take to become a Professional Burlesque performer?
-Amazing costumes, a unique stage persona, and grace. I think you also need a lot of motivation.
If you could change anything about the Burlesque scene here what would that be?
-I just want everyone to get along. I think sometimes we forget that we are all working for the same thing, which is better burlesque in
Finish this phrase- Burlesque is....... my passion!
Burlesque can be sexy, alluring, stimulating, exciting, humourous, cheeky, satirical, blushing, political, weird, beautiful, graceful and admired; but it is still on the controversial fringe of entertainment for various reasons....boobs being two of them..but with talented performers and their enterprising and passionate ventures in the adventurous World of Tease, we know that good can only get better!
Miss De Ville's contribution is, for now, small but Mighty! She's seeded her passion and cultivated for herself a strong, perennial Flow.
Miss De Ville, formally Co-Producer of Starlight Burlesque, will forever be a Producer, Dancer and Vintagista.....and
Photography by Chloe Whitehorn for AEP
Photography by Mopo Arts for AEP
Shoot Location: Loft 404, The Ambrosia Hub